by Mauro Cappiello
"Having won in Cincinnati last week and reaching the final of both his previous tournaments – the Rogers Cup and Wimbledon – Roger Federer is currently the best player in the world and is undoubtedly the form player heading into the US Open. I think he’s the favourite. I do."
Mats Wilander has apparently changed his mind about Roger Federer's chances of winning another Major. The Swiss' inspired performances of the last month must have convinced the former world number one from Sweden, now Eurosport expert commentator, that his theory of a supposed "lack of desire" from the 17-time Grand Slam champion was wrong.
After the Wimbledon final lost in five sets by Roger against Novak Djokovic, Wilander had written on his column on French sports daily L'Equipe that "when you look at him [Federer] after a defeat, you have the impression that it counts more for us and for the history of Wimbledon, than for himself. For him it doesn't matter anymore."
In Spain, the winner of seven Majors in the 80's also said he is impressed by the work done by the Swiss with Stefan Edberg.
"If you look at how Roger plays now, how he played in Wimbledon, you realize that Edberg was a perfect choice. Because he is a very easy guy to deal with, has a great knowledge of tennis and is not extreme in the way of expressing his opinions. He is very normal, sympathetic and can make himself understood. If you want to be more aggressive, we have now got the evidence that Stefan is perfect to polish that aspect. Obviously Edberg will help you perfect your volleys, serve and come to the net, play sliced serves, use the sliced backhand, Federer... must be in heaven when he talks about tennis with Stefan Edberg."
John McEnroe is also one of the enthusiasts of the Edberg-Federer team, but, once again, he disagrees with Mats on who is to be considered the favourite looking ahead to the US Open. If Big Mac has been a supporter of Federer's 18th Major cause even the day after his Wimbledon final defeat, he said in a conference call with TV channel ESPN (video below) that Novak Djokovic has still got the edge now, as we get close to the Flushing Meadows fortnight.
"I would give a slight, slight favourite to Djokovic based on it being best-of-five. He's younger and he can go the distance perhaps a little bit more easily than Roger at this stage. A little bit."
Nole's recent poor form doesn't have to be considered a factor, according to the American. "He got married. I didn't see a lot of his matches since, but I saw a few. I think it was difficult for him to get back into the swing of things. I believe he'll be ready here."
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